KR Steve Suter

2002 Statistics

Coach: Ralph Friedgen
21-5, 2 years
2002 Record: 11-3
vs. Notre Dame LOST 0-22
at West Virginia WON 48-17
at Duke WON 45-12
at North Carolina WON 59-7
at Clemson WON 30-12
at Virginia LOST 13-48
Tennessee WON 30-3

2002 Final Rankings
AP-13, Coaches-13, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

With every passing season, every passing game, and every passing play, the Maryland Terrapins get better. Guess it's no secret for the reason, as Coach Ralph Friedgen has in just two seasons in College Park, staked his claim as one of the best coaches not just in the ACC, but nationwide. told everyone last year how the hand would play out. The depth chart to start the 2002 season showed a very young, new QB as well as a new RB (with Bruce Perry nursing lengthy injuries). All this while the meat of their 2002 schedule existed in two of their first three ballgames. The results were dismal, as a 1-2 demonic start haunted the campaign. But as noted, we told you that Coach Friedgen would rebound with a remaining slate of cupcakes that allowed his young team the chance to gel and eventually finish amazingly strong. This, in turn, culminated in a total dismantling of a talented Tennessee squad at the Peach Bowl. Anybody that watched that finale as compared to the very first game (in the Kickoff Classic loss to Notre Dame) swore they were watching two totally different ball clubs.

Count on the defense being stingy as well as being a sure source of victories. This unit can stick like Old Bay on your fries. Their aftertaste looms for quite some time as bruised 2002 opponents can attest. Reading into the Terps obviously reveals an incredibly sturdy bunch from top to bottom, with few holes on either side of the ball (barring the OL and its depth issues.) But don't think this review sees all through rosy colored glasses… had made it abundantly clear, carrying over from Friedgen's start, that UM has been the generous recipient of high rankings due to their inexcusable, intentionally poor scheduling habits. Granted, these one and three loss campaigns look good in the end. But given a tougher schedule, this team would certainly drop quite a few more. This is the worst non-conference schedule that exists in the entire Top 25. Northern Illinois, The Citadel, and Eastern Michigan highlight the list, yet front office people can't understand why a 48,000-seat stadium can't be filled. The home schedule is borderline disastrous and Maryland has already established a proven pattern of ducking tougher competition. reported this last year when the Terps passed up a chance to schedule a one-time home game with highly touted Marshall on ESPN in favor of I-AA Wofford.

This team has what it takes to secure its second ACC title under this coaching staff. The conference is getting better and sure-wins are harder to find. Obviously, the Terps have to overcome that huge hurdle called Florida State, losing to the Seminoles 11 straight years. And that has to be done in the early heat of Tallahassee. What a shame that game has to be so early (Sept. 6) as the ramifications of this outcome are crucial. But this team has the defense to overcome this streak.

Let's not pull any punches - this is the best team Coach Friedgen has built since arriving. Anything short of a one-loss season, given the schedule, will be a disappointment. We're telling you now to watch out for this group. And the whistle is screaming…

Projected 2003 record: 11-1
WR Jafar Williams
DT Randy Starks
LB D'Qwell Jackson
QB - 3.5 DL - 4.5
RB - 4 LB - 4.5
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Scott McBrien, 284-162-10, 2497 yds., 15 TD's

Rushing: Josh Allen, 60 att., 405 yds., 8 TD's

Receiving: Jafar Williams, 28 rec., 562 yds., 2 TD's

Scoring: Nick Novak, 24-28 FG, 53-54 PAT, 125 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Nick Novak, 24-28 FG, 53-54 PAT, 125 pts.

Tackles: Leon Joe, 103 tot., 74 solo

Sacks: Randy Starks, 6.5 sacks

Interceptions: Domonique Foxworth, 5 for 64 yds.

Kickoff returns: Steve Suter, 22 ret., 24.8 avg.

Punt returns: Steve Suter, 56 ret., 13.8 avg.


LB Leon Joe
OFFENSE: Chad Killian-FB, Chris Downs-TB, Scooter Monroe-WR, Todd Wike-C, Matt Crawford-OT, James Lynch-FB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Durrand Roundtree-DE, William Shime-NT, E.J. Henderson-MLB, Brooks Barnard-P

written by Todd Helmick

During the 2002 spring game, Maryland's future took a huge step back when promising star QB Chris Kelley went down with torn knee ligaments and the reigns were handed to the inexperienced Scott McBrien. To contend with other matters, RB sensation Bruce Perry just never could regain his health and the Terps were left with hard questions at the two most crucial positions on offense. Scott McBrien started out the fall looking confused in Friedgen's system, at times looking like he would never be able to lead this team to greater heights. Wait, isn't this Ralph Friedgen we are talking about? A coach who has bought QB after QB and made them into perennial All-Americans, dating back to his Joe Hamilton/George Godsey days at Georgia Tech, which preceded his triumphant Terrapin debut with Shaun Hill. Needless to say, now senior Scott McBrien has become a man. He is not exactly the type of passer that will garnish big time recognition with Heisman-like numbers. But given the offensive system, which is predicated on having at least one open receiver on any given play, McBrien's strength comes from being able to read and find the right guy. Watching McBrien develop with each snap speaks volumes about this offense and its coaches.

Adding to hopes this preseason is the return of RB Bruce Perry. He finally worked his way into the lineup towards the close of the regular season after battling some multiple injury bugs. You have not seen the last of Perry - his numbers from 2001 were so eye opening that they awarded him lofty All-American status heading into last fall. Only a junior, his continued contributions are one of the main reasons this team is being touted so highly in this preseason. Even if his health again becomes questionable, depth exists at this spot with names like Josh Allen, Mario Merrills, and Jason Crawford - all three managed significant 2002 playing opportunities. The FB spot is another story. A big shock came when huge James Lynch declared early for the NFL paired with senior Chad Killian departing. We will have to keep you updated on the progress here, as any name penciled in at this point would be pure speculation.

Over the past decade of defeats, the UM receiving unit has been absent. The Terps needed to catch up, and catch up they did. This unit is now a vital strength. Count on kick/punt returner extraordinaire Steve Suter to deliver at WR with his excellent speed. Possibly the most gifted athlete on the field comes back in converted-QB-to-WR Latrez Harrison. Returning leading receiver Jafar Williams provides Maryland with a stacked deck from which now game tested Scott McBrien can deal. This group could easily wind up one of the best in the ACC once the hand is played out. Young talent is abounding to boot, and this will be a big spring in terms of starters holding off the gifted newcomers, a no-lose situation for Friedgen.

If you are going to look for the few holes that exist on this team from top to bottom, the OL just may be where to look. This unit experienced the most turnover. The big question now pertains to locating (2) new starters and then adding depth, a connected problem also prevalent in 2002. Coached well, last year's OL earned RBs a 4.7 yards-per-carry average and allowed only 21 sacks. UM has three returning starters (see depth chart), but after that, locating qualified new faces may be tough. The biggest concern is finding a center to replace All-American Todd Wike, but more important is the glaring lack of depth. Recruiting these positions was top priority, which apparently was met with the new signees. If some of the reserves fail to hold their spot in the line-up, true freshman may impact the depth chart, which only supports the problems afore mentioned. Fortunately for Maryland, big All-ACC TE Jeff Dugan (6-4, 261 lbs.) returns. He may not get mentioned with the bigger names, but he consistently grades out as one of the best blockers week-to-week.


TB Bruce Perry


Returning Starters in bold
QB Scott McBrien-Sr (6-0, 180) Joel Statham-Fr (6-1, 205)
FB Bernie Fiddler-Sr (6-1, 240) Jason Crawford-Jr (6-2, 219)
TB Bruce Perry-Sr (5-9, 192) Josh Allen-So (5-11, 204)
WR Latrez Harrison-Sr (6-3, 223) Jafar Williams-Sr (6-2, 211)
WR Steve Suter-Jr (5-9, 188) Rich Parson-Jr (5-10, 173)
TE Jeff Dugan-Sr (6-4, 260) Derek Miller-So (6-8, 253)
OT Stephon Heyer-So (6-6, 293) Ryan Flynn-Jr (6-4, 266)
OG C.J. Brooks-Jr (6-6, 323) Russell Bonham-So (6-4 305)
C Kyle Schmitt-Jr (6-5, 302) Ryan McDonald-So (6-2, 287)
OG Lamar Bryant-Sr (6-3, 308) Akil Patterson-So (6-3, 287)
OT Eric Dumas-Sr (6-6, 315) Lou Lombardo-Jr (6-6, 306)
K Nick Novak-Jr (6-0, 196) Daniel Ennis-Fr (6-0, 145)



written by Todd Helmick

Maryland is for crabs as Terrapin football is for defense - abundant. The defense came up big in 2002 when, early on, the offense struggled. Granted Butkus Award winner and tackling machine E.J. Henderson is finally gone from grounding the middle of the defense, but don't think his departure leaves a gaping hole …this group remains stellar.

The highest grades get handed out to the front-seven, starting with the LBs. The outside spots in this aggressive 4-3 alignment return two highly tested seniors. The most experienced, Leroy Ambush on the strong side, plays the run with the best of them and finds little difficulty in winning battles with bigger TEs. Replacing E.J.'s numbers won't be difficult when done through committee. On the other side, Leon Joe is versatile enough to laterally overlap into the middle when needed, a huge blessing. Odds point to Joe back at MLB, a position at which he practiced last spring when EJ was out from back surgery. Anyone watching him play there can tell you he too is the real deal. Depth at LB is plentiful - keep an eye on our post-spring updates with the many young candidates, really too many quality athletes exist at LB, another good problem to have. POST-SPRING UPDATE: It appears the need to find a replacement for E.J. Henderson at MLB has been taken care of. Soph D'Qwell Jackson looks like he will be the man after he earned the job with a solid spring outing,.

The front wall, too, is loaded with proven veterans. Most opponents will need to key on DT Randy Starks. His play earned him a reputation as a top inside player, a fact supported by his First Team All-ACC selection and probable mention on several All-American lists for 2003. This strong down-unit allows the shifty LBs to usually roam free of blockers. An opening exists at one of the DE spots. A huge bonus would be the addition of highly touted Michael Whaley returning from grade issues. Sources say Whaley will not participate this spring as he concentrates on the books. Should he return by fall, all hell will break loose.

The defense's Achilles Heel through Friedgen's two victorious seasons has been the secondary. The entire past decade reeks of disappointments at DB. That is slowly changing, and 2003's secondary may be his best yet. All four defensive backfield starters return, including All-American Domonique Foxworth. Overwhelming experience (3 seniors, 1 junior) and talent mean CB Curome Cox and FS Madieu Williams have had their names thrown onto some preseason All-American lists, too. Of course, this promise still only exists on paper. All odds point to a promising defensive campaign…only time will tell for sure. The bar is set for measuring this year's unit - 2002's group allowed 16.3 points-per-game and a scant 25 TDs, numbers this group is capable of bettering.


CB Domonique Foxworth


Returning Starters in bold
DE Scott Smith-Sr (6-4, 255) Kevin Eli-Jr (6-4, 272)
DT C.J. Feldheim-Sr (6-3, 297) Justin Duffie-So (6-2, 293)
DT Randy Starks-Jr (6-4, 304) Landon Jones-Sr (6-4, 248)
DE Jamahl Cochran-Jr (6-0, 246) Shawne Merriman-So (6-3, 246)
SLB Leroy Ambush-Sr (6-1, 223) Ricardo Dickerson-So (6-3, 238)
MLB D'Qwell Jackson-So (6-1, 217) William Kershaw-So (6-3, 217)
WLB Leon Joe-Sr (6-1, 223) Andrew Henley-Sr (5-11, 239)
CB Curome Cox-Sr (6-1, 201) Jamal Chance-Sr (6-1, 191)
CB Domonique Foxworth-Jr (5-11, 175) Reuben Haigler-Sr (6-0, 179)
SS Dennard Wilson-Sr (5-11, 189) Andrew Smith-Sr (6-0, 204)
FS Madieu Williams-Sr (6-1, 191) Raymond Custis-Jr (5-8, 186)
P Adam Podlesh-So (5-10, 215) ..




The biggest concern will be punter Adam Podlesh, who will attempt to step in for graduated all-ACC standout Brooks Barnard, possibly the Terp's greatest punter of all time. Scouting reports by coaches' claim that Podlesh has the quickest release you can find, but it may be impossible to replace Barnard's leg strength.

The other big challenge will be complacency…that's a compliment. Steve Suter is a First Team AA punt returner. We probably could have made the same argument for him handling kickoff returns. If the adage that speed kills holds true, this local sprinter from nearby North Carroll HS could be considered a convicted felon.

Rounding out the strengths will be kicker Nick Novak. His deadly accuracy (24-of-28 FGAs, 125 points) was enough to earn top billing as the ACC's best kicker in 2002.


Ohio State transfer, Sam Maldonado, has been erecting eyebrows with his running style and may find himself a great fit into this offensive scheme. He is a tough runner who can move a pile as well as shoot through a gap. He and soph Mario Merrills had the most impressive spring game of all the RBs… WRs Dan Melendez and Paschal Abiamiri caught the ball quite a bit in spring scrimmages and add even more speed to this already quick group of receivers. Melendez may be the most pleasant surprise from the offense this season… A name that will pop up this season in freshman All-America talks is WR Vernon Davis. Davis has great size (6'4", 225 lbs.) and is a physical guy with the motor and the wheels to excel at the college level… The FB questions have been answered for the time being, with Bernie Fiddler solidifying the top spot. Fiddler is a big back who can both block and catch out of the backfield.

The offense didn't execute as well as they would have liked this spring because their defense was too tough… Former QB Chris Kelley has made the effective transition to safety and should see considerable playing time there. His smarts and savvy as a former QB will play key in the secondary, especially in pass coverage… LB Andrew Henley was a defensive standout, leading his team in tackles in the spring game. He is good at read and recognition and will help this group ease the loss of E.J. Henderson. Another backer with extreme upside is incoming frosh Wesley Jefferson. This Parade All-American has the tools to be better than Henderson, and it might start as early as this year!

JoJo Walker and Rich Parson will be the likely kick return men alongside Suter. The First Team All-American PR Suter sat out this spring after knee surgery, leaving Maryland fans hoping he's still the same threat he was last year. If he goes down (knock on wood), Walker can step in.